To the Editor:
The recent report by Planet Princeton concerning alleged criminal conduct on October 10 at Tiger Inn, a Princeton University social club, should concern Princeton residents generally, entirely apart from the merits of the allegations.
The allegations are: a sex act occurred on the dance floor in the Club, the act was photographed, and the photograph was circulated via email to Club members by a club officer. If true, the sex act and the email publication could be a violation of New Jersey criminal law.
Of broader interest to Princeton residents is the question: what coordination existed between the University and local police in investigating the matter? The answer to that question depends on who knew what, when did they know it, and what did they do with their knowledge?
Based on early reports, University administrators were notified of the event by University-affiliated persons who found the email publication of the photograph objectionable. The University apparently took no action, claiming that the Club was not in its jurisdiction because the Club is a private, off-campus institution.
Also according to early reports, when Planet Princeton inquired of local police three weeks after the event concerning their knowledge of the matter, the police indicated they had not received any complaint and therefore knew nothing of the matter.
This apparent chronology of events raises the question: when an alleged criminal act comes to the attention of the University, is it not under an obligation to notify local law enforcement?
One would think that the answer to that question is “yes”. After all, the University and local police recently entered into a memorandum of understanding concerning better coordination. Is coordination really happening?
And just this week the University was called to account by a federal investigation concerning its lack of compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice for failure to appropriately deal with civil rights violations due to sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault/violence. What does the incident of October 10 say about the University’s efforts to address the federal government’s concerns?
The University and the municipality should make public who knew what, and when, and how the two institutions can assure local residents that local law enforcement agencies in fact are cooperating for the protection of the larger communities –- municipal, state and federal.
Mr. Martindell is a former Princeton Borough Councilman